Quiapo is next in Erap’s street clearing drive

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said on Friday, July 8, that the commercial district of Quiapo will be the next target in the city government’s campaign to rid the streets of the country’s capital of “obstructions and eyesores.”

The unsightly targets include “illegal vendors and undisciplined motorists and pedestrians.” The Manila Police District (MPD) has been ordered to “go after the operators of illegal terminals of jeepney, tricycles, and pedicabs that have been causing traffic gridlocks.”

“Anarchy in our streets has to stop,” Estrada said in a statement sent to the media. “Hindi puwedeng papogi lang ’to, eh. Tuluy-tuloy ’to, hindi lang Divisoria, ‘susunod natin Quiapo, lahat ng districts, lahat ’yan susuyurin natin.”

(This is not for show. We have to be relentless about this. We don’t do this only in Divisoria. Quiapo has to follow. We will comb all the districts.)

In Divisoria, a trading center, the MPD and Task Force Divisoria initially targeted last week the so-called “hot spots”: the stretch of Recto Avenue going to Divisoria, Blumentritt, Reina Regente, Soler, Abad Santos, Antonio Rivera, Juan Luna, Narra, Plaza Ruiz, and Santa Elena.

Weeks before the opening of classes on June 13, the mayor also had the University Belt area cleared and cleaned up.

Estrada said he pitied the vendors who would be affected by the clearing operations, “but I’m always for the good of the greater number of people.” These vendors, he said, are illegally occupying those spaces along the streets, causing not only traffic but the accumulation of garbage as well.

He pointed out that he already gave the vendors a reprieve during the Christmas season, when he suspended the clearing operations amid the influx of shoppers.

“Bringing back Manila’s beauty and old glory entails so many sacrifices. So we have to do this,” Estrada said. – Rappler.com